BY : Macx Larabee
Category: Descendents of Darkness/Yami No Matsuei > General
Dragon prints: 2194
Disclaimer: I do not own Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei), nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Tatsumi looked grimly around the conference room where Konoe had
called in a crisis meeting. He would have expected other division heads
to be here, but Konoe had voted to keep matters quiet for now. What happened
in the Shokan Division, stayed within the Shokan Division. Apparently Enma-Daiou
agreed with him. Tatsumi didn't have to understand, just follow orders,
but he knew that if things got any worse there would be no more hiding
the facts.

"Enma-Daiou is doing what he can to stabilize Meifu, but the problem
is GensouKai," Konoe told him. He had been in a meeting with the Lord of
Hades the whole day. "It has started to drift away, slowly but steadily.
For now there is no danger, but we are facing a crisis of unknown proportions.
I know Tsuzuki's condition is worsening."

Yes, things had gotten a lot worse.  As of this morning Watari
had to hook Tsuzuki up to life support. Tatsumi briefly closed his eyes.
He had been with his lover when the alarms had gone off. Now Tsuzuki was
on a ventilator and fed by an intravenous needle. A shinigami was immortal,
but no one had ever taken a bond to a shikigami into account who was apparently

"We can't do anything but hope and pray that he continues fighting,"
Konoe went on. "I talked to Watari and he told me he's still sifting through
all kinds of data from Touda and Terazuma is bringing back the latest of

Tatsumi nodded. "Shouldn't we tell the other divisions?"

"Enma said he'd inform everyone in time."

When would that be? When no one could enter GensouKai any more?

It wasn't Tatsumi's place to criticize, but he found that currently
Enma was making the wrong decisions. GensouKai had already started to become
adrift. Not much longer and other shinigami who had shikigami serving them
would notice. As would the shikigami.

But he kept his mouth shut.

° ° °

Hours passed and the day turned from night to day to another night.
Nothing changed, nothing happened, except for the ever-present fear of
the future rising.

Kochin had little to do inside Tenkuu other than to watch over her friends
and fellow shikigami, assist Rikugo and pray. She did that a lot.

The musician stood in the doorframe, looking down on the fragile looking
body in the bed. Whatever held Touda in its lethal grip was working inside
his body, making the serpent look pale despite the fever that was eating
away at him. Rikugo was doing his best, and he had by now taken to using
his other ability to counter-act the progression of the virus.

Rikugo could stop time, create a sub-space bubble of no-time around
a person or an object, but he couldn't uphold it indefinitely. The magic
was intense and meant to be used for brief intervals and while the dragon
was powerful, had grown throughout the time he had served Tsuzuki, there
was a limit. There was always a limit.

The astrologer had started to work both the healing and the sub-space
no-time alternatively. He stopped time for as long as he could, then counter-acted
the virus the moment it was out of the timeless space. The healing energy
was swallowed like water in the desert. It drained the astrologer, that
much was obvious, but Rikugo didn't give up, and it was the only thing
keeping the serpent alive. Touda's unconsciousness was as deep as a coma
now and he wasn't reacting to stimuli anymore.

It was only a question of time.

Kochin sighed softly, her eyes resting on the other person currently
watching over Touda. Byakko hadn't slept properly since the whole dilemma
had started and it showed. Face pale and hollow, dark shadows under huge
red eyes which looked dull with exhaustion. The tiger was worrying for
his lover's life.

"Byakko," Kochin said softly, noticing the way the young shikigami lifted
his head tiredly as if he hadn't really heard her. "You need rest."

Byakko shook his head slowly. "I'll stay."


"I'll stay."

"Byakko, you need..."

"No! Can't you see?" Huge red eyes regarded her. "I won't leave him.
I can't leave him, he needs me... everybody always left him... "

Kochin quickly embraced the shaking form as the young man broke down
in her arms sobbing, hot tears soaking her sleeve. She couldn't care less.
The musician held Byakko, stroking his back every now and then.

If Touda died, Byakko would be lost.

As would their master and GensouKai.

° ° °

Watari had jumped at all the new data discs Terazuma had brought back
like a predator on prey. He had plugged everything out of the startled
shinigami's grasp and shut the door of his lab behind him.

He wasn't really a doctor, just a mechanical engineer, but in his life
as a shinigami he had acquired a lot of skills and had looked into a lot
of different professions. So he knew about biology, chemistry and medical
sciences. What he didn't know was looked up on his computer.

Entering the data into his machine, Watari waited for the first results.
It would take a while. Then the updates would be added, which came on a
regular basis since Terazuma was going back and forth. If Touda was human
he would have asked for blood samples, would have done cultures and whatnot,
but he was a magical being and they didn't fall under the category of normal
medicine. Even their colds were... magical in origin. Nothing was like
with humans; medication wouldn't work.

He swiveled to the coffee machine and grabbed the freshly made pot to
get himself a mug, then started to pour over the prints Terazuma had brought
back. There was little Watari could do for real. The important things were
on the discs, the updates now running through the computer.

° ° °

Night had fallen once again. It didn't bring with it the peace and quiet
of before. It was just an absence of light; nothing else had changed. Servants,
quarantined inside the massive building that was their Lord, were awake,
hurrying through the corridors, either trying to keep busy or on their
way to follow an order.

Rikugo sat beside his patient, all eyes open, scanning Touda for the
life lines, the energy lines, that ran through all living beings. He found
them blackened, burned and charred, withered and brittle. Some still pulsed
weakly with life, but others were in the danger of dying off, taking the
stricken shikigami with them step by step.

The astrologer reached out and concentrated, his normal eyes now closed
while the other four eyes remained open. He channeled some of his own energy
into Touda, giving the life lines a jolt, regenerating them, even if it
helped for just a moment. Rikugo encased him in a bubble of no-time, creating
the vital sub-space, but it was getting harder and harder to keep it lasting
for more than an hour by now. Soon it would be down to under one and then...

Sitting back, he regarded the other shikigami, sadness in his eyes.

"What's happening to you, Touda?" he murmured.

It was getting worse by the hour and Touda was not only losing life
energy but also weight. His body was burning up whatever it didn't need
right now, and soon it would start to conserve energy by shutting down
organs. Liver, kidneys... lungs, the heart... and finally there would be
the slow starvation of the brain. Rikugo was counteracting that shutdown
procedure, keeping Touda functioning, but it took more and more of his
own energy to do so.

He wasn't just worried about Touda any more. There was also Byakko.
The tiger had had his first breakdown already, crying himself into sleep,
exhausted and at the end of his emotional rope. He was currently curled
up on a futon rolled out beside the bed Touda lay on. Due to the frequent
application of the no-time bubble, Byakko was as close as he could without
interrupting with the life-preserving treatments. Kochin had placed the
Wind God onto it after Byakko had collapsed, looking sad and so very exhausted

The crisis was getting to all of them and it didn't look like there
was any kind of solution coming any time soon.

Rikugo sighed and felt his own exhaustion beg for relief. He couldn't
give in to sleep, though.

He was needed. Touda needed him.



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